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‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein’: Narrative chaos replaces romantic jeopardy in Netflix drama

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A silent from ‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein’. (Photo | YouTube screengrab)

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It’s regularly unwise to invoke Baazigar so blatantly. Abbas­–Mustan’s film is a classic, a thriller that burned a grotesque enjoy register the 90s zeitgeist. It had slump automobiles, grifters in masks, murderous rooftops, our bodies in bags. It had the soul of a darkish and bottomless pit. To pinch a fairly title from that film—and no longer match its feral spirit—is practically criminally corrupt.

Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein opens with a grubby-having a survey man in hiding. “Three issues can ruin a person—cash, energy and a lady,” says Vikrant (Tahir Raj Bhasin). We glimpse flashes from Vikrant’s childhood, then soar ahead to his formative years. Handiest nowadays, he used to be an odd engineering graduate, in enjoy with Shikha (Shweta Tripathi) and alive to to resolve down. Why, then, does he comprise a gun now ….and appears fancy Chandrachur Singh from Gulzar’s Maachis?

That ask has already been answered. As a baby, mischievous Vikrant approved candy from a smiling classmate but no longer her inquire of of for friendship. The girl, Purva (Anchal Singh), reappears years later, seeking recompense. She’s a Zumba trainer (which isn’t relevant) and the daughter of a local baby-kisser (which is). Vikrant’s father is an accountant at Purva’s dad’s, which complicates issues. What furthermore complicates issues is the creepy escalation of her demands. First she wants Vikrant to escort her to the dam, then to maintain a watch on her classes, and within the smash, as such issues streak, to marry her.

Vikrant is henpecked by Purva, who appears to be like to glean her system. Her father (Saurabh Shukla) and brother (Surya Sharma) make miniature of caste variations; actually, they leverage it for political beneficial properties. “You’re screwed,” Vikrant is recommended. He’s clearly in menace, a incontrovertible truth that registers and not utilizing a one else but him. His of us—performed by Brijendra Kala and Sunita Rajwar—are comic characters, and so is his simplest buddy Golden. No longer that the villains are exceptionally shiny. Every so continually, they decrease Vikrant free, calling him ‘jija ji’ and unable to survey via his plans.

There are three violent dwelling pieces—all dwelling to song. It signals ambition on the section of author-director Sidharth Sengupta, though no longer sufficient capacity. The dialogue (by Varun Badola) echoes substandard Tarantino, the variety the save severe mob conversations are interrupted by archaic asides on relationship apps. The gain is brought up in overall: Facebook, darkish web, crypto. This, too, becomes a scenario. In a metropolis this digitally mindful, it’s absurd anyone can maintain down secrets and tactics. The fable jumps from Bhopal to Glossy Delhi to Ladakh.

The main metropolis, Onkara, is fictional, as has change into norm in loads of Netflix India titles dwelling within the north. The reason being easy: northern miniature-cities are a powder keg of political controversy, and the streamer might very correctly be playing it true by opting for fictional worlds. Yet, it comes at a rate. Crime dramas necessitate a model of discipline. Onkara no longer simplest sounds bogus, it feels as neutered as Haseen Dillruba’s Jwalapur and Aranyak’s Sironah.

If Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein has a grace expose, it’s its main man. Tahir Raj Bhasin made his name playing loopy antagonists; his dramatic roles, including Derek in Chhichhore and Sunil Gavaskar within the present 83, are proving extra attention-grabbing. Tahir is charming as Vikrant, a person reduced to decided closing measures and a low, quivering sigh. The expose is customarily about him; the female characters waft apart and change into magnetic poles in his fable.

“I’m no longer infected,” Purva tells Vikrant. “I’m approved possessive.” The line is connected with a directness in overall reserved for male heroes. Yet psychology isn’t the level here. The scene exists so a brand unique cliffhanger might also be added and the converse stretched out quite additional. The expose is no longer substandard, it’s approved too digressive.

Series: Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein 


Solid: Tahir Raj Bhasin, Shweta Tripathi, Anchal Singh, Brijendra Kala, 


Saurabh Shukla


Streaming on: Netflix


Ranking 2/5

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‘Brazen’: An underwhelming crime caper

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A mute from ‘Brazen’. (Photo | YouTube screengrab)

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On this feeble strive at an investigative procedural, we’ve Grace Miller (Alyssa Milano), a successful crime novelist, who finds herself embroiled in a case animated her murdered sister, Kathleen. Incidentally, her most contemporary crush is the investigating officer Ed (Sam Online page). After just a few dispassionate appeals in step with her credentials as the movie’s producer, I mean, against the law creator, who has “an instinct for motive”, Grace will get onboard the investigation.

Kathleen is a high college teacher who doubles up as a digital dominatrix at a space called Memoir Inc. Her escapades consequence in her homicide, and whereas right here is no longer a commentary on her legit selections, it does set that there is a killer on the free who is targetting ladies of her kind. Manufacture no mistake, the movie is as campy because it’ll salvage, with even a intercourse scene thrown in barely for kicks. 

On the opposite hand, the campiest it will get is with its dialogues and the oh-so-convenient coincidences. Sadly for the movie, there’s additionally great unintended humour coming our methodology as Grace goes about the investigation unmindful of how an actual investigation is to happen. She moves on purely in step with the aforementioned “instinct” and in a mandatory scene when she flirts with wretchedness, no one… I mean… no longer even the stop law enforcement officials appear to notify things by. One of them even says, “Grace, you bought guts and a twisty recommendations.” Nope, no longer staunch at all.

There are a entire bunch red herrings within the investigation, including a manipulative ex-husband, and a brooding and influential student, who raze as much as be extra distractions in actuality. Things salvage handed to the investigators on a platter, and clues nick up when they need it the most. The antagonist does exactly what’s required to salvage caught. The entire movie is convenient and a farce.

Clocking in at factual over 90 minutes, Brazen feels extra worship an prolonged episode of a lengthy-working police drama. On the opposite hand, as right here is the fundamental time we’re meeting Grace and Ed, we are in a position to neither bewitch into their chemistry nor their supposed investigative acumen. Right here is a overlooked opportunity.

Brazen


Director: Monika Mitchell


Genre: Mystery


Platform: Netflix


Language: English


Rating: 1.5/5

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A sharper, grittier pandemic anthology

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Unpaused: Naya Safar 

Cast: Shreya Dhanwanthary, Priyanshu Painyuli, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Saqib Saleem, Ashish Verma, Neena Kulkarni, Arjun Karche

Directors: Nupur Asthana, Ayappa KM, Ruchir Arun, Shikha Makan, Nagraj Manjule


Streaming on: Amazon High Video

Rating:3.5/5

I had reviewed the first version of Unpaused positively and later reconsidered it. That change into thirteen months prior to now, at the pinnacle of the first one year of the pandemic, and the timing did the trick. Flustered, fatigued, I change into completely inclined to an anthology that had ‘sleek beginnings’ in its define. The an identical hopefulness plagues Unpaused: Naya Safar, though the medication has changed. The reigning mood is irritability; characters baulk at the entirety—an extended lockdown or the gaze of bland Maggi.

The Couple 


Nupur Asthana’s film kicks off merely. Akriti (Shreya Dhanwanthary) and Dippy (Priyanshu Painyuli) are having a fun lockdown until she gets on a Zoom call along with her bosses. “I’m appropriate shocked to witness HR right here,” she says—phrases as apprehension-inducing because the High Minister pulling regarded as one of his 10 o’clock addresses. Expectedly, Akriti is fired, leaving Dippy—who’s into marketing and marketing and thus insensible on the corporate butchering line—to determine her up. It’s a candy, effectively-performed immediate, if somewhat of insensible at highlighting the industrial slowdown of the final two years. The couple’s fights, though unstintingly blunt and relatable, are historical hat. And so they skip the largest fragment: the sluggish, most essential doubt-clearing that continues long after an apology is made. 

Battle Room


Ayappa KM directs a demanding morality play living in a covid battle room. Sangeeta, a widow played by Geetanjali Kulkarni, is an operator there. Day to day, she works the emergency helpline and allots beds—no time is given, but you feel the warmth and desperation of the 2021 second wave. Cinematographer Tassaduq Hussain works a subdued magic, with muted colours and a continuously shallow depth-of-field. Eeriest of all is his unromanticized portrayal of the Mumbai rains. It drips and pours, tripping the electrical energy and escalating the sense of doom and gloom. It’s a potent reminder that we’ve been staring at a fear film all along. 

Teen Tigaadaa


Ruchir Arun’s film is a comedy about three crooks. It’s the wittiest of the five, some distance eliminated from day after day eventualities and complications to face by myself as a movie. After they choose a truck, three nitwits must defend set apart in an empty manufacturing facility. The premise is pulpy ample to manufacture Thiagarajan Kumararaja smile, and so are the characters. Saqib Saleem seems to be love he’s viewed ample Dhanush movies to play a swaggering hood. He’s mostly upstaged by the lively backchat by Ashish Verma. My favourite and the funniest, though, is actor Sam Mohan, because the reluctant minder of the neighborhood. 

Gond Ke Laddu


Shikha Makan’s film is about a mother’s love. Sushila (Neena Kulkarni) wants to send laddus to her daughter, who has appropriate delivered somewhat of one. She books a courier service, who mess up her parcel. The living is analogous to the Anurag Kashyap immediate in 2013’s Bombay Talkies. What’s extra damning, though, is appropriate how syrupy the total affair gets. Neena, a outmoded, is fetching as she overcomes an elderly girl’s suspicion of the web. However the youthful characters are sketchy and laborious to have.

Vaikunth


Nagraj Manjule directs himself in a movie about death. An ambulance pulls into a crematorium abuzz with the sounds of peril. Families notify, and we hear the crackle of firewood. Vikas (Nagraj) burns pyres at the ground; he’s evicted from his dwelling and forced to defend at the crematorium along with his son. He paints frivolously on a scene of devastation. There are some stinging footage, and a drone shot you’ll recognise from newspaper clippings. Bit by bit, all phrases die out, and the film executes a chokehold. Nagraj is incessantly placing along with his endings, and so in most cases they’re delivered from somewhat of one’s point of view.

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‘Hridayam’ movie review: Vineeth Sreenivasan delivers two feel-good films for the price of one

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A smooth from ‘Hridayam’. (Photograph| Cinema Screech)

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I had two concerns before going into Hridayam. Its length and the 15 songs in it. Having seen the film, I’m capable of recount that I’m capable of’t imagine it with out that length and people songs. Vineeth Sreenivasan has structured Hridayam in a technique that makes it seem equivalent to you are watching two feel-merely motion photos for the price of one.

It’s love the Aspect A and Aspect B of an album. And the songs dangle now not exist correct for the sake of it. They act as markers for pivotal events in protagonist Arun Neelakandan’s (Pranav Mohanlal) existence.

Truly, the Hridayam abilities already started the day they launched the album. It’s the appetizer before the buffet. While you are already accustomed to the album, you would perhaps love them even extra when you stumble on their placement within the film.

There had been six songs that I wasn’t floored by once I first heard them, however I began to fancy them after getting a technique of the context. I’m paying attention to the soundtrack as I write this overview because I wish to bear in mind the details.

Hridayam feels love a new that charts a persona’s allege from one particular portion of his existence to 1 other. Vineeth Sreenivasan is now not going for the same outdated wrestle-resolution structure. He has written the film love a bunch of wrestle-resolution episodes, with the pre-interval parts overlaying Arun’s faculty existence and the different half exploring his post-faculty experiences. (I most popular how Vineeth uses the film’s title quite than ‘Interval’)

Even when it employs the familiar coming-of-age tropes, Vineeth makes them seem new again. Arun is a extraordinary particular person to assorted of us. He might be the coolest guy you regarded as a lot as in faculty or the guy who beat you up. I linked to Hridayam plenty because Arun commences faculty within the identical Twelve months I did (2006) and within the identical station (Chennai).

So, I became once crooked merely from that opening scene exhibiting Pranav boarding a prepare where he meets his future mates for the foremost time. It’s that time before smartphones grew to turn correct into a system – when your phones regarded extra love a video sport console.

It’s that time if you interacted with non-Malayalis for the foremost time. It’s that time when seniors snort you that the grill safeguarding your hostel corridor is ineffective because they’ll clutch you and rag you no matter what. Arun goes by all of it.

We’ve all had those moments in our behind 20s or early 30s where we bear in mind the of us we met all the device by our faculty existence (batchmates to professors to canteen guys to wardens), and we wonder what took station to those that – merely or injurious – formed our formative years. On occasion you be taught that the actual person you hated the most support then has now grew to turn out to be into somebody with whom you’d remove to hang out.

While you procure to grab somebody shut, you be taught that they effect now not seem like the raging jerk you assumed they had been. About a of them don’t trade and procure worse as they turn out to be old. When we first meet Arun, he is a charming guy with the roughly swag you wish you had within the foremost Twelve months of school. But meeting Darshana (Darshana Rajendran) adjustments him into somebody unruly and brutish. He turns into liable to mistakes and temptations, correct love most of us did support then.

You stumble on, it’s this therapeutic effective of Hridayam that I loved the most. It makes you feel much less embarrassed regarding the awkward, silly things you did within the previous. It’s a film that doesn’t maintain in station on previous mistakes.

It’s love a chum that pats you on the support and says, “It’s magnificent, dude. Seek at these characters. They’ve moved on. No one cares anymore about what took station a decade within the past. You would possibly smooth switch on too,” and likewise you mediate to your self that, yes, it’s as easy as that. It’s now not the cease of the arena. This realisation must’ve dawned on Arun too.

He finds a technique to push himself, time and again, to set the entirety within the support of and develop correct into a guilty young grownup. He ends up merely where we resolve on him to lastly cease up. In most motion photos entertaining a love memoir, it’s the fellows who most frequently procure scenario transferring on. This time, it is a woman. But even she’s going to eventually muster the energy to launch the next portion of her existence. Greater behind than never, merely?

Oh, I forgot to add one extra initial pickle – of Pranav Mohanlal fitting correct into a film of this nature. I became once outlandish to survey how a filmmaker love Vineeth Sreenivasan would take care of him. The ‘Darshana’ music had already given us a faint glimmer of hope.

But how would he cease in your complete film? I’m elated to story that Pranav delivers in spades. Pranav will get the transformation – from fallacious and rebellious to veteran and guilty – merely. He also excels in those minute moments where we meet minor characters who dangle a stable influence irrespective of their screentime.

How many motion photos cease that? Hridayam’s most emotional and though-provoking segment involves Arun’s friendship with a Tamil batchmate named Selva. It acts as its maintain minute movie, and likewise you procure the sense that Vineeth is pulling off, in a little device, his dream of making a Tamil-language characteristic. Or perhaps he is warming up before making a gargantuan one.

Another poignant second has Arun conversing with a Tamil-talking stranger at a tea stall. The particular person, who appears to be to procure fallen on laborious times, tells him that he outdated to be a gargantuan movie producer. In that rapid, you wish that things bought better for him too. You’re going to procure your reply within the film’s third act. No one does feel merely love Vineeth Sreenivasan.

I also loved the casting of Kalyani Priyadarshan as Nithya, the girl Arun will eventually marry. Hridayam is positively Kalyani’s most attention-grabbing hour. Someone can snort that Nithya is so honest correct for Arun. She brings that considerable-wanted stage of heat, mischief, and humour in his existence that we didn’t stamp in his interactions with Darshana.

He’s now not reluctant to be under her management. It’s a match made in heaven. And Darshana Rajendran is aptly solid because the girl who thinks plenty before making severe existence decisions. She is now not obvious within the system that Arun or Nithya is. The involvement of these three actors proves once more that Vineeth has a enormous gape (and ear) for abilities.

But Pranav, Kalyani and Darshana are now not the ultimate impressed casting choices in Hridayam. The guy who plays Arun’s ultimate friend – I dangle now not know his name – is stunning too. Vineeth affords him a aesthetic portion of silly and emotional moments that dangle him endearing.

I’m capable of snort that he has a enormous future before him. Also terrific are the total actors solid as Arun’s batchmates. (One in all the actors, Arun Kurian of Anandam-reputation, is already familiar to us.) And Vineeth brings his trademark sense of humour in certain scenarios that you first demand to procure a severe end result.

And if you would perhaps procure the extremely hilarious Johny Antony taking half in Nithya’s father, you know from where she bought her sense of humour. Talking of supportive of us, Vijayaraghavan plays Arun’s dad. A railway space dialog scene brought support memories of talking to my father on the Thalassery railway space moments before I boarded a prepare headed for Chennai’s Egmore space.  

As a coming-of-age drama, Hridayam is to Vineeth Sreenivasan what Premam became once to Alphonse Puthren. (If given a possibility, I would with out pickle bewitch Hridayam over Premam.) It’s regarded as one of those motion photos I needed to hug once the cease credit score started rolling.

I also wished to hug Vineeth for making a film with so many heartwarming moments after which fearless to launch it at a time when each person appears to be repeatedly vexed by concerns over a raging pandemic and the constraints imposed. I badly wanted this film. Thank you, Vineeth Sreenivasan and traffic.

Director: Vineeth Sreenivasan

Solid: Pranav Mohanlal, Darshana Rajendran, Kalyani Priyadarshan

Score: 4/5

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